{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Does anyone feel like the 'token' diversity person in a room/meeting and how do you deal with it?", "post_id": "5e6864fc4b3835002b3c461d", "reply_count": 10, "vote_count": 6, "bowl_id": "5da60c126e5f0d001f32f497", "bowl_name": "Women in Law" }

Does anyone feel like the 'token' diversity person in a room/meeting and how do you deal with it?

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We are not tokens. Worked our butts off or we wouldn’t be there. Smarter and more resilient when you come from a disadvantaged or lower socioeconomical background wnd you are sitting right next to golden spoon kids who had mommy and daddy lawyers lead them to their comfy jobs. These firms lucky to have us with our out of the box, fearless and creative solutions. When I am in room as the only diverse attorney I’m just thinking-You Are Welcome white men.

likeuplifting

Love this [high five].

A million years ago, I was a female white baby lawyer at a minority-owned law firm run by men, many of whose clients were small companies run by black, Asian and Hispanic men. I attended meetings with those clients all the time, and I was the token diversity person in the room. Pretty funny, looking back, and admittedly, my being in the room had nothing to do with my firm trying to show anybody anything about diversity, but I definitely recall the insecurity that accompanied being the token. I have never taken for granted for one second the simple bravery it takes young minority attorneys to be in big law and all I can say is that I hope some day OP's question will be a thing of the past.

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Yes. Only woman in my office, and I’m still figuring out how to deal with it. Lots of times the partners will leave an attorney meeting and say “guess I can’t say that joke anymore” and I know it’s because they think it’s inappropriate. That’s a different issue, but still working on not feeling like a token and that I was hired for value I can personally bring the firm.

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Read up on imposter syndrome. If they're using you, use 'em back. Eventually you'll feel as though you belong and "claim " it. Chin up.

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Yes, but it depends on whether I get the work, billables, and collections. I am often put in responses to RFPs but, I also get the work and am the only associate on that client. Make sure you’re getting the work or the recognition for the role you play and take advantage of the “foot in the door” with the diversity piece. If all they’re doing is putting you in the room, and you’re not valued elsewhere, see if it can change. If not, maybe decline it with a balance of the work you need to do.

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I have been explicitly told I was brought in for diversity reasons. I was not a fan and still feel a bit bad about it but I did the work.

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